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Steely anger in Redcar as plant is mothballed
North East Socialist Party
The last steel plant on Teesside, the second largest in Europe, is to be mothballed resulting in the loss of up 2,200 jobs.
The steelworks in Redcar is to stop production after nearly 100 years and steelworkers union Community are in talks with bosses of SSI, the company that operates the site.
Protests took place on 24 September. At Middlesbrough football club's home game on 27 September players warmed up in "Save Our Steel" t-shirts and sections of the crowd spelled out "SOS".
Despite this however, the government has refused to step in and rejected a last-ditch appeal for financial help from the company itself.
The plant was publically owned and controlled before being privatised by Thatcher in 1988 and has been threatened with jobs losses and closure ever since. The site stopped production in 2009, resulting in job losses. However, campaigning led to the plant being saved after previous owner Tata Steel felt the pressure.
The Socialist Party calls on the government to fully nationalise the plant, safeguarding the up to 9,000 jobs that rely on the production of steel in the area.
We also call on the trade unions that represent workers' at the site to get behind the call for nationalisation and hold pickets and protests in support of this, to channel the anger that has swept the region since the announcement.
The whole of the trade union movement should support these workers and any action they take. If the government can bail out the banks then they can nationalise Redcar steelworks, which is clearly in the public interest.
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